Saturday, September 5, 2009

168/245 - More is More

Wednesday 4:30 pm with Amy

For the first time since I tweaked my knee, I made it through a full class without skipping anything (except subbing Tree for Toe Stand). The extra attention I paid to detail seems to have paid off some. I got compliments from Amy in poses where I usually hear nothing.

First, in the first forward bend. I felt like I was actually getting some lengthening in my lower back, and Amy said the pose was "beautiful." That's not something I thought I'd ever hear about this pose.

Then I got a compliment going down in the third part of Awkward. This one was a little funny. I was not sure how strong my knee was, so I took an extra long time going down, what seemed like forever. And now I know that that's what they've been asking for all along. Ten counts actually isn't long enough, and they really mean it when they say the slower the better here.

And then, I got some more nice praise for Camel. I really like this pose again, and I've gotten to where I look forward to it. Strangely, the pose that now bugs me the most is the last part of Wind Relieving. My knees start to slip out of my elbows, my upper back isn't really open enough to relax into the pose. I begin to lose the pose, and I never know whether to set up again, or to try to hang on for dear life.

In the day 240 meditation, Gates talks about doing doubles. For Gates, a double is a morning practice and then an afternoon or evening practice. He likes doing them from time to time because the morning practice acts as a nice warm up, and then he can go even further in the evening practice.

I've only done a handful of doubles, and they were all in my first challenge. I liked doing them, but for whatever reason, I've had little desire to do one outside of a challenge. A while ago, Cisco told me the whole practice escalates to a new level when you start doing more regular doubles. I was a bit skeptical, and he said that I just hadn't had enough of the kool-aid yet.

Of course, the main trouble is finding the time. A morning and afternoon class, with driving time and cool down, takes close to five hours. A back to back double would save about an hour. But for Gates, I don't think a back to back counts as his sort of double. Instead, I think he would view it as an extra long single practice.

Anyway, the double is one way in which, as the quote at the start of the meditation says: "Sometimes more is more."

1 comment:

Bosco said...

Glad to hear your knee is back. I have my hamstring back about 95%. It's nice to do the full back strengthening series again - I haven't been able to lift my right leg due to the hamstring pull, and that has resulted in a kind of empty space for me in this part of class. It is funny how, if I excuse myself from doing these poses, for good reason (they HURT, due to the hamstring pull), then I find I can be very lazy and undisciplined for the rest of the series. (I guess I am kind of an "all or nothing" kind of guy.)

Also great you are liking Camel again. It is interesting how you go through ups and downs with each of the poses. I haven't ever really had an "up" with Camel until just recently, maybe in part because, due to taking in easy in back strengthening, I feel stronger for the balance of floor series. And so I have had a new energy in Camel. A few days ago I actually got told "Good, George," just as I was thinking to myself, "Wow, I think I can feel what this is supposed to be like," in a way I never had before.

So it's nice to know there really are always new horizons to go through. The sheer POWER of the yoga practice blows me away - it has had such a positive and pervasive effect in my life, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It cuts through everything. I am very grateful to be able to do it. And for every moment of dread connected to yoga (and there are many) there is so much more ontological exhiliration!

Anyway. 4:30 class for me today, after a day of catch-up at the office. Ciao!